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Keep your distance plea as man-o-war wash up on beaches

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All washed up: Dozens of Portuguese man-o-war on Devonshire Bay (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)
All washed up: Portuguese man-o-war are pictured at Astwood Park (Photograph by Noelle Richardson)

Beachgoers are being warned to be on the look out for unpleasant visitors – Portuguese man-o-war.

A number of the venomous organisms have been spotted along the island’s coast in recent weeks and the Government has urged members of the public to keep their distance.

Portuguese man-o-war can be identified with their bluish gas-filled float on top of the water.

However, their in-water tentacles are often not seen, making them deadly predators for small fish and extremely painful for humans after contact with the skin.

People should keep their distance and refrain from touching the Portuguese man-o-war even if they wash up on the beach, because the tentacles can still be very venomous.

According to the website American Oceans: “The man-o-war’s sting generally subsides after 30 minutes, leaving raised red patches on the skin.

“Some may experience fever and muscle pain. Nausea and vomiting might also occur.”

Those who are stung should rinse the area with vinegar to remove any residual stingers or pieces of tentacle and then immerse the area in hot water.

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Published July 08, 2022 at 8:10 am (Updated July 08, 2022 at 8:07 am)

Keep your distance plea as man-o-war wash up on beaches

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